Rent a friend

My mood’s a tiny bit better today. I’m still definitely on the down side but it’s livable with and the desire to stop everything has faded to a distant chatter rather than an all consuming shout. One of my problems is that as soon as I start to fall, I shy away from the world. I retreat to my room and my laptop, curl up under the duvet and cry, sometimes for days at a time. The rational part of my brain (there is one there honest!) knows this is about the worst thing I could do but at the moment I don’t have many other options.

The last time I went out was back at the beginning of May – in the intervening 2 months I basically haven’t seen anyone other than my parents. I thought I had friends in York but that’s *complicated* (to put it tactfully and besides they were mostly students so are now on holiday anyway). Yes, I see people at work but as I work at different companies, it’s never the same people and it’s only a few hours a week. Recently I’ve had my fortnightly beading class but that really is it. Reading that back, I’ve realised just how sad and pathetic my life has become.

The truth is, I meet people badly. I don’t have a clue how to function in any social situations if I were to know how to get into those social situations in the first place. And if i knew how, I still wouldn’t as I don’t have the confidence. Everyone judges and then they betray you anyway so there’s no point. The few friends I have are hours drives away and I don’t want to bother them because frankly I don’t think my company would be up to much at the moment. People deserve better than me ruining their time.

I don’t want sympathy, I write this so that people can have an indication of how much mental illness can destroy someones life. There’s a part of me that wishes people would reach out to help because I’m incapable of reaching out to them. But I don’t know what I want other than maybe someone to sit in the pub with, having a few drinks and a chat.

Thankfully there is a slight bright spot on the horizon. A friend I’ve known for nearly 20 years is getting married on Saturday 🙂  I know enough people going that I should be just about alright with it although a venue full of happy couples probably isn’t the best of situations for me. I’ve never been to a wedding before (at least not since I’m old enough to remember) and I’m freaking out that I don’t know the etiquette and the way things procede. I know when it starts, and where the wedding and reception are but that’s it. I can envision myself crying in the corner because I said something I regret or turned up too early or too late. Still, I have a very pretty dress to wear so that’s a point in my favour and a fantabulous new haircut.

But that’s one day. Other than that it will be back to a blank social calendar. Oh what fun! My local Mind group offers a “befriending service” – basically a volunteer who is happy to meet up with someone for a few hours each week for a chat and to offer emotional and social support. I’m tempted but that would involve admitting there’s a problem and I’m far too embarassed for that. It’s too much of a blow to my already basically non-existent self confidence to need to effectively rent a friend for a few hours because I’m unable to make any real ones for myself.


4 Responses to Rent a friend

  1. nickopotamus says:

    I’d go for it personally – all the advantages of a friend, without the disadvantages like forgetting their birthday or dealing with *their* emotional issues 😛

    Seriously, would be good to see someone. It’s not giving in and “renting” a friend, it’s another source of therapy, just one with a silly name.

  2. werehorse says:

    Well my first Befriender became an actual friend, and now I have started meeting with a new one from a different organisation. OK so I definitely am sad and pathetic (lol) but it’s non-pressured company and support, and makes me feel a little more like I belong to the human race. Or does MIND (or anyone else) run any kind of informal craft groups?

    Take care x

  3. aims says:

    What is so sad and pathetic about learning how to socialize again? Think of all the people who have suffered from other illnesses that have to go through the same thing. Take a stroke victim – or a parapalegic – they all have to relearn these skills as well.

    That there are actual volunteers to help you relearn these skills is absolutely amazing! I wish we had them here. I have had to go through this and I watch my brother struggle with it every single day.

    You can do this Ana. You can take the steps that will make you a new person. It’s scary – sure – but so worth it in the end. Knowing that you brought you out of this – it’s a good feeling. Believe me.

  4. Chapati says:

    Hey Ana, sorry for the lack of comment-age recently. I’m with everyone else, the MIND thing is a good way of having someone to talk to who absoulutely genuinely wants to be there, i.e. someone you can be completely honest with.

    Hope you’re OK and the wedding was fun!

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